Former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz has let Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya know he wants to fight Ryan Garcia in November.
Diaz is an obvious Plan-B choice for Ryan Garcia’s next fight if he can’t get the Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis fight. Ryan and Jojo Diaz are both with Golden Boy, and they had been scheduled to fight last November.
Unfortunately, the contest was halted after Ryan suffered a wrist injury. Diaz then went on to challenge WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney unsuccessfully for his belt last December, losing a 12-round unanimous decision in a competitive fight.
Jojo Diaz (32-2-1, 15 KOs) is the likely option De La Hoya has in mind for Ryan (23-0, 19 KOs) if he’s unable to negotiate a fight with Tank Davis next.
Ryan’s decision to move up to 140 and say he’s never going to return to 135 could result in him losing out on the lucrative fight against Tank Davis.
Tank’s promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. said on Wednesday that they would not be going up to 140 to face Ryan. It’s either Ryan comes down to 135, or the fight won’t happen.
— Joseph Diaz (@JosephDiazJr) July 19, 2022
The main problem with Jojo Diaz being the backup option for Ryan Garcia is that the fight would likely take place at 140, given Kingry’s stance about not ever returning to the 135-lb division. Diaz was at his best when he fought at 126 at the start of his professional career in 2012.
After losing to Gary Russell Jr in 2018 in a battle for the WBC featherweight title, Jojo Diaz moved up to 130, where he captured the IBF title from Tevin Farmer in 2020.
Last year, Diaz moved up to lightweight and defeated Javier Fortuna by a 12-round unanimous decision after being called on to replace Ryan Garcia, who had pulled out of the fight due to an anxiety issue.
Jojo Diaz looked undersized in his two fights at 135, and it’s difficult to imagine him going up to 140 to fight Ryan Garcia.
There wouldn’t be much Jojo Diaz could do to try and get Ryan to return to the lightweight division because he’s not popular enough to entice him to drop back down in weight.
If Golden Boy Promotions are serious about wanting to turn Ryan into a star, they need to match him against top-level fighters at 140 rather than continually pulling 135-pounders up in weight from the lightweight division for him to fight.
In Ryan’s two fights since moving up to 140, he’s fought fringe-level lightweights Emmanuel Tagoe and Javier Fortuna rather than contenders from the light welterweight division.
How can Ryan ever hope to prepare himself to fight the elite-level fighters in the 140-lb division if he’s being matched against weak lightweights, who had no pop in their punches? Like Fortuna and Tagoe, Jojo Diaz doesn’t have much power, and he’s terribly undersized for the 140-lb division at 5’6″.